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North Queensland Cowboys v Sydney Roosters


Ash Gray

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The Cowboys have butchered a limp Roosters side 42-10. Their victory was set up by superstar Johnathon Thurston, whose running and kicking game made the Tri-Colours look very ordinary. Robert Lui's territorial kicking was also key, and the Cowboys forward pack never allowed the Roosters to breathe. Only Minichiello and Tuivasa-Sheck of the Sydney side come away from tonight's encounter with their reputations untarnished. James Maloney had a shocker without Mitchell Pearce at his side. The only downside for the Cowboys was the loss of Cooper and King to serious injuries. All up, a massive win for the Cowboys and a massive headache for Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

77th minute:

Fabulous try from the Roosters' No. 5. Tuivasa-Sheck stepped Ethan Lowe then exploded down the right flank before kicking ahead. A racing Daniel Mortimer was there to dive on the bobbing ball to score. Maloney's conversion unsuccessful.

Cowboys 42 Roosters 10

75th minute:

Cameron King is being carried off: looks like he's done his knee attempting to tackle Maloney.


Cowboys 42 Roosters 6

72nd minute:

From the ensuing scrum Linnett monsters over for his third try of the night. Thurston converts.

Cowboys 42 Roosters 6

71st minute:

Roosters get pinged for a forward pass from dummy half 5m out from their own line. It was from  Maloney to Minichiello. Oh dear.

Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

69th minute:

Maloney's kicking has been off-beam tonight. He's put a couple into touch on the full. And there goes another one...


Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

66th minute:

Robert Lui's kicking game has been on the money tonight, keeping the Roosters deep in their own half.

Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

64th minute:

Brent Tate is a machine. He keeps on putting his body on the line no matter the consequences.

Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

61st minute:

The news on Gavin Cooper isn't good: he has a dislocated left hip.

Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

59th minute:

Thurston and Morgan combined to break down the Roosters' defence, setting up a 50m bust that ended with Winterstein passing to Tate, who crashed over for the four-pointer. Thurston converts.

Cowboys 36 Roosters 6

57th minute:

Bone-rattler: Daniel Mortimer crunched by Tariq Sims on the sixth tackle. The ex-Newtown utility was looking to pass when Sims hit him from nowhere. Ouch!

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

55th minuite:

The Rooster have really dug in this half. They have nothing in attack but their defence is rock solid... so far. I speak too soon. There goes Tuivasa-Sheck spilling a regulation pass.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

53rd minute:

Gavin Cooper is sprawled out on the turf courtesy of a three-man tackle a couple of metres out from the tryline. Looks like his knee has gone - and that's not good. The medicab is on the field now.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

50th minute:

Tuivasa-Sheck penalised for a high tackle, and he's on report. Cowboys attack 25m out.


Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

Matthew Wright of the Cowboys scores a try during the round 10 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville.

Matthew Wright of the Cowboys scores a try during the round 10 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville. Photo: Getty Images

47th minute:

Boyd Cordner has an ankle sprain and won't be returning.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

45th minute:

The Cowboys are camped in the Roosters' 20m zone. Something has to give...

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

44th minute:

SBW has had zilch effect on this match so far. He has virtually been asleep in attack.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

43rd minute:

The Cowboys started the half with two repeat sets, but couldn't breach the Roosters' line. Great defence from the red, white and blue (and pink).

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

41st minute:

Horrible start for the Tricolours: the Cowboys reclaimed the ball from the kickoff, after Maloney, stricken with fear or something, watched Ashton Sims snatch the synthetic pigskin from his grasp.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

The Cowboys have blown the Roosters off the park in the first 40 minutes. The Roosters just haven't been in the show. Only Minichiello has shown any conviction in attack or defence. Trent Robinson will have his work cut our trying to inspire his charges for the second stanza: they look shot. For the Cowboys, Thurston has been at his genius best, while Rory Kostjasyn has been super impressive at No.9. The Roosters will have to pull their finger out if they're to prevent a cricket score.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

39th minute:

Matthew Wright stepped over after good lead-up work from Thurston and Morgan, whose combination has been irresistible tonight. Thurston tames the wind to boot the extras.

Cowboys 30 Roosters 6

37th minute:

The wind is having an effect on both sides' kicking game. After gaining a penalty, the Cowboys passed up the opportunity to kick for touch - that's how unpredictable the wind is.

Cowboys 24 Roosters 6

34th minute:

Morgan grubbered, the pill pinballed to Tate but his arms were held and his pass trickled out for Thurston, who picked up the crumbs and scored. Thurston's conversion goes close but the wind pushes it wide.

Cowboys 24 Roosters 6

32nd minute:

Brent Tate is down clutching his knee. His leg was extended in the tackle and a ton of attacking weight fell on him. But he's OK now. Is there a tougher man in rugby league?


Cowboys 20 Roosters 6

30th minute:

North Queensland make their first mistake with the ball - after 31 minutes. That's how good they've been.

Cowboys 20 Roosters 6

28th minute:

Minichiello is having a whale of a game. He's the only Rooster to have broken the Cowboys' defensive line. 

Cowboys 20 Roosters 6

Really? No try? It hit Tupou's hand? Seriously, video refergibberers.

— Andrew Webster (@awebstar1) May 17, 2014

23rd minute:

Roosters penalised 10m out from their own try line for lingering too long in the tackle. The laser-like Thurston secures the two points. 


Cowboys 20 Roosters 6

21st minute:

The Roosters have only completed five sets out of nine - that's why they're so far behind on the scoreboard.

Cowboys 18 Roosters 6

18th minute:

Roosters go close. Maloney launched a massive bomb from 40m out, Matthew Wright ball-watched, and Tupou touched the pill onto Jennings who sent Minichiello over. But the ref called Tupou's touch was forward and a knock-on was ruled.

Cowboys 18 Roosters 6

16th minute:

Vintage Minichiello. The Roosters gobbled up 100m in six tackles thanks to a spirited break from the veteran custodian. Then, showing excellent positional sense, he popped up to take the final pass as the Roosters' threw the ball wide in the Cowboys' 20. Maloney converts.

Cowboys 18 Roosters 6

14th minute:

Kostjaysyn made the break, threw it to Thurston, who jinked and shimmied then spiral passed to a rampaging Lynnett. All too easy. The Roosters' defence around the ruck is very leaky. Thurston converts.

Cowboys 18 Roosters 0

11th minute:

A canny Thurston kick lobbed in no-man's land 25m out, and Tariq Sims swooped as the Roosters ball-watched, swan-diving for a four-pointer. Why didn't any Roosters attempt to catch it? Thurston converts.

Cowboys 12 Roosters 0

9th minute:

Waerea-Hargreaves penalised for high contact on Lui. Thurston smashes over the two points from right in front.

Cowboys 6 Roosters 0

7th minute:

Cordner penalised for a shepherd. The Roosters were on the attack. He ain't happy.


Cowboys 4 Roosters 0

4th minute:

Who checks the team kit colours before the start of the game? The Cowboy's Women in League strip looks a lot like the Roosters' home strip. There's way too much pink and navy going on. It's rather confusing.

Cowboys 4 Roosters 0

2nd minute:

After a series of cock-ups in the centre of the Roosters' 20m, Liu passed out to Linnett who had acres of room to score - it was only Minichiello who rolled with Linnett over the line that made him work for the four pointer. Amazingly that was the Cowboys' first attack. Great start. Thurston's kick doesn't curve back enough.


Cowboys 4 Roosters 0

Looking forward to seeing Sonny Bill Williams in the five-eighth position tonight. It will be interesting to see him up against Thompson and Thurston, who is playing his 200th game.


1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, Saturday 7.30pm(AEST)

Last meeting: Round 10 2013 - Roosters 12 bt Cowboys 8 at 1300Smiles Stadium

Head-to-head: Roosters 21 Cowboys 8

Referees: Shayne Hayne, Adam Gee


Michael Chammas writes: The Roosters travel to Townsville without Mitchell Pearce, suspended for one game. The Cowboys have finally hit their straps and new coach Paul Green will be keen to prove himself against his former club.

Tip: Cowboys by 8

AAP writes:  The Roosters will have to do without Mitchell Pearce after the halfback was given a one-game club suspension following his late night indiscretions over the weekend. James Maloney will move to the No.7 slot with Sonny Bill Williams moving into five-eighth to match up against Johnathan Thurston in the Queensland star’s 200th appearance for the Cowboys. The premiers are on song with three straight wins under their belt while the Cowboys are also improving after an indifferent start to the year and overcame rivals Brisbane at home last weekend.Key: The front-row battle between Cowboys pair Matt Scott and James Tamou against Roosters’ big boppers Sam Moa and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will be enticing. Whoever comes out on top will go a long way to winning the match for their team.

COWBOYS: Michael Morgan, Matthew Wright, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (capt), Ray Thompson, Matt Scott (capt), Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Jason Taumalolo, Tariq Sims. Interchange: Cameron King, Ethan Lowe, Ashton Sims, Scott Bolton, Glenn Hall (one to be omitted).

ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello (capt), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sonny Bill Williams, James Maloney, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Mitchell Aubusson, Aidan Guerra. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa, Samisoni Langi (one to be omitted).



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